US Cuba travel restrictions have been in place for nearly 50 years but were altered in 2011 to allow more categories of travel. This means that many Americans now have the rare opportunity to experience Cuba firsthand.
TORONTO, ON, September 23, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- US to Cuba legal travel has been subject to a great deal of debate over the past fifty years. In fact, very few living Americans have had the opportunity to see the island in person. In 2011, however, President Barack Obama greatly revised US Cuba travel restrictions by adding new categories to the General License qualifications as well as a Specific Travel license. Yet, it is not uncommon these days to hear that many travel groups, organizations and individuals are facing great obstacles when the time comes to renew their specific People-to-People Licenses.
Under the 2011 enhanced regulations, legal Cuba travel for Americans is available to full-time professionals looking to engage in research as well as to students, faculty, and staff members of an accredited university or school looking to participate in a for-credit educational program. Religious travel into Cuba is also possible with a General License, which can be acquired as part of a do-it-yourself process that entails putting together paperwork showing why you are traveling to Cuba and the research or work that will be done while in the country.
While the US embargo on Cuba prevented most people from being able to see the island for more than 50 years, the altered requirements for travel into Cuba offered new opportunities for students, professionals, and those seeking to travel for religious purposes. The Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, has set forth specific license requirements for legal Cuba trips.
OFAC regulations are very clear about who may travel to Cuba, as well as what they may do while visiting the island. Authentic Cuba Travel offers clear explanations of what is required and allowed during legal Cuba tours. The company offers a wide range of educational tours, as well as those that would be of interest to professionals in media, arts, biological fields, agricultural fields, photography, architecture, and more. Some trips are designed to provide full compliance with regulations that define how to travel legally to Cuba as an American.
As the US political landscape continues to change, US Cuba travel restrictions are at risk of being reinstated. General License requirements currently make it easy for those with professional or academic business on the island to be able to engage in legal US Cuba travel. Specific Licenses can be harder to obtain but can be used for educational or professional travel that does not fall within the parameters of the General License requirements.
Legal Travel to Cuba from the U.S. has been something that most Americans could only dream of for nearly half a century. Legal Cuba tours have much to offer travelers in terms of learning and experience and may be available for only a limited time depending on how the regulations continue to change.
At current, many Specific License holders are finding that renewals and approvals have been significantly delayed, with many major organizations failing to receive their anticipated renewals. It is unsure how this will impact how to travel legally to Cuba from US in the long run, but it is certainly hoped that the situation will resolve soon. For those able to qualify for a General License, now is an excellent time to take advantage of legal Cuba tours and trips.
Bella Travel Group Ltd. (Authentic Cuba Travel Group/ Hello Cuba Travel Group) is a full service travel agency based in Toronto, Canada that organizes cultural, educational and adventure tours for schools, NGOs, business and community groups.
Even though each year nearly 2 million tourists travel to Cuba, they hardly have the chance to get to know the authentic Cuba that lies beyond the confines of all-inclusive full-packed tourist resorts. Once back home, those travellers realize they have hardly "travelled" to Cuba. It might have been a nice and low cost package vacation from the cold weather, but they do not know much about Cuba's culture and its people.
Authentic Cuba Travel votes for a different kind of tourism for those travellers who demand more from their vacations. With over 24 fully escorted Cuba tours announced for 2011, ranging from educational and cultural to arts and architecture and festivals and events, Authentic Cuba Travel captures the Cuban identity that defines the island as a unique Caribbean nation.
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